In 221 BCE the state of Qin vanquished its rivals and established the first empire on Chinese soil, starting a millennium-long imperial age in Chinese history. Hailed by some and maligned by many, Qin has long been an enigma. In this pathbreaking study, the authors integrate textual sources with newly available archeological and paleographic materials, providing a boldly novel picture of Qin’s cultural and political trajectory, its evolving institutions and its religion, its place in China’s history, and the reasons for its success and for its ultimate collapse.
Yuri Pines is Michael W. Lipson Professor of Asian Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Lothar von Falkenhausen is Professor of Chinese Archaeology and Art History at UCLA. Gideon Shelach is Lous Freiberg Professor of East Asian Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Robin D.S. Yates is James McGill Professor of East Asian Studies and History and Classical Studies and chair of the Department of East Asian Studies at McGill University.
“A major contribution to the study of early China. This is the first book-length work to gather and present many of the most important archaeological and paleographic finds related to Qin, and to systematically lay out the way in which these new materials—as well as new readings of old materials—overthrow the conventional treatment of Qin that has survived since the late Western Han. It presents a huge amount of new evidence and interpretations that totally change our understanding.”—Mark Edward Lewis, Stanford University
“A truly outstanding work. Thorough and readable, the essays in this volume provide an excellent overview of current thinking on the nature and legacy of the Qin state. It will be an invaluable resource for scholars of early history and archaeology in a wide variety of cultural contexts.”—Michael Puett, Harvard University